And the cosiest airport award goes to…

IMG_4195

You´re thinking Singapore´s Changi because it has a pool and a butterfly garden. Or Bangkok because you can get a massage 24 hours a day. Maybe Munich for its brewery?

No.

Not for me anyway. Airports these days seem to offer everything the so called modern traveller needs but the one thing I´ve always found distinctly absent from every airport I´ve visited is a personality, or god forbid a sense of humour.

Which is why my recent visit to Tallinn airport, en route to Paris, was such a surprise. Estonia´s capital is not usually setting international style benchmarks, but I found myself delighted and surprised several times while waiting for my flight. And not by the kids play area, unlimited free wifi and Skype video booths (although they were cool too).

The help-yourself library at Tallinn airport

The help-yourself library at Tallinn airport

First up was the the airport library where you can read and even borrow a book at your leisure, with the idea that you´ll return it on your way back or replace it with a book you no longer need. A genius idea that fosters a sense of community and environmental awareness.

st       IMG_4200

Book in hand, I walked into the nearby Kohver Café and was bowled over by the fact that this was not a chain café. Independent businesses are rarely, if ever, courted by airports. It was teeming with vintage décor and quirky styling, including coffee tables made out of antique suitcases (an idea I am totally going to copy). This café would look perfectly at home in Sydney´s Surry Hills or London´s Soho.

Kohver Café

Coffee and a cinnamon bun from Kohver Café

Several coffee styles were on offer including aeropressed, press pot, Turkish and glass filtered. Plus dozens of oriental and organic Estonian herbal teas. All perfect to accompany a locally baked fresh cinnamon bun or croissant.

1450670_10152751926044104_7877071467430628581_n[2]

Tallinn airport´s business card exchange

After your caffeine hit, turn the corner to find the business card exchange –  another brilliant idea that encourages networking and supports the community. Pin your business card to the wall and feel free to take a card that interests you. Or do as I did and simply cast your eyes over the plethora of cards for a glimpse into the lives of fellow travellers.

Tallinn airport´s mission is to be “the cosiest airport in the world.” How refreshing to see a company actually living its brand values. Mission accomplished Tallinn.

Has anyone has encountered such a user friendly and thoughtful airport? Do let me know!

Advertisements

17 comments

  1. Katia · October 18, 2014

    Who knew Estonia was so cool. This is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrei Tuch · February 5, 2015

    There’s a new feature at Tallinn airport now: if you arrive late and all the shops are closed, there’s a self-service sandwich station with local rye bread and cucumber water, for a fee of 2 euros on the honor system. 🙂

    Like

    • thefidgetyfoodie · February 5, 2015

      That’s brilliant! I love how they think of the traveller’s needs and wants in a generous and inclusive way.

      Like

  3. Anna · February 5, 2015
    • thefidgetyfoodie · February 5, 2015

      Yes so true! Our two posts together nicely round out the best features of the airport : )

      Like

  4. upaet · February 5, 2015

    Nice to read such a warm comment on Tallinn airport. In addition they have a new feature now whereby people that are travelling too late for any place for eating to be open, can make themselves a sandwich of different things and leave a symbolic fee for it in a jar on the table. Welcome to visit us again.

    Like

    • thefidgetyfoodie · February 5, 2015

      That’s another generous and considerate feature for travellers. I wish more airports actually put the passenger first!

      Like

  5. Brett · February 5, 2015

    It is by far, by far…the best small market airport in Europe and probably anywhere!

    Like

    • thefidgetyfoodie · February 5, 2015

      I agree 100%! In my travels I visited 30 airports last year and Tallin was the only one I felt compelled to write about because it was such a delight.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Lesser · February 6, 2015

    Yeah, its easy to make little airport (Tallinn just a bit over 2million travellers per year) cosy, try it with Heathrow or Frankfurt …

    Like

    • thefidgetyfoodie · February 6, 2015

      True but tallin airport is also very intuative and thoughtful towards its passengers and it would be nice to see these traits exhibited in other airports!

      Like

  7. Lyle · February 9, 2015

    The airport is only one small part of this lovely city and the warm people in it. It is people like you that make the difference when ever one travels to various cities around the world and the out pouring of friendship that is given when you arrive or leave this beautiful city. Lyle
    .

    Like

    • thefidgetyfoodie · February 9, 2015

      That’s so true Lyle! I had a wonderful few days in Tallinn before flying out and I hope one day to return and see more of this kind and happy country.

      Like

  8. L. · May 24, 2015

    Did You knew that Kohver (Kohver Cafe) is suitcase in estonian 🙂

    Like

  9. roland · July 7, 2015

    And basically it is a chain cafe. Its is supported by Nordic leading specialty roastery Johan&Nyström

    Like

    • thefidgetyfoodie · July 7, 2015

      That’s interesting, I didn’t realise. Is it only in Estonia? How many outlets do they have?

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s